Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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Customizable Zombie Slaughter Is Yours In ‘fightboyfight: redux’


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‘MouseCraft’ To Enter The Next Stage Of Beta At The End Of The Month With A Huge Update

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Who would’ve ever thought that one day a company would look at Lemmings and Tetris and decide to combine concepts from both games into one new style of puzzle game. It seems quite the feat to combine these two very different puzzle games, especially in a manner that works well but the team at Crunching Koalas have done just this with MouseCraft.

MouseCraft is a very interesting puzzle game in which you must guide mice to the cheese in order to complete the puzzles at hand with use of the classic Tetromino blocks.

I did cover the unveiling of Mousecraft along with a first look at it late last year, however this was just the early testing phase and since then Crunching Koalas have come leaps and bounds in the development process with the latest version scheduled to come out at the end of the month.

The next version will include many enhancements over the early alpha game including; four types of tetromino bricks (Exploding, crumbling, jelly, and voltage), the more terrifying water and acid obstacles hindering your mice even more, new game modes, crazy cat scientists, and even a level editor.

These extra additions along with various fixes to the game overall are starting to shape MouseCraft to be a very interesting and very fun new style of puzzle game. I have no doubt in my mind the level editor will be a huge boon to the game especially as you can share your maps with others in the community.

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If you would like to get involved in the beta program that Crunching Koalas are currently running be sure to check out their site and sign up for all the latest. The new update for the Mousecraft beta will hit at the end of the month.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘MouseCraft’ To Enter The Next Stage Of Beta At The End Of The Month With A Huge Update


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Indie Intermission – ‘Bat Country’ Giant Mutant Bats Can Put A Damper On Your Day

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This week seem to of mostly focused on the rather simplistic pixelart arcade games and today fits into this idea rather nicely. Bat Country by Greg Sergeant is a point and click helicopter shooter that is almost entirely mouse controlled and contains a rather interesting running narrative and bats… lots and lots of bats.

In Bat Country you take control of a helicopter and must make it through the four levels whilst avoiding the rather large and sinister looking bats that keep flying at you in an attempt (I assume) to clog up your rotary blades with bat entrails.

The game follows some very basic pixelart style with rather standard simplistic backgrounds, but everything comes together rather nicely to give Bat Country a genuinely retro arcade feel that is just brilliant, showing that sometimes the best ideas are the simplest.

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Average play time – 20 minutes

Bat Country is an intensely challenging game that throws everything it can at you from start to finish. Unrelenting yes, but the game does contain a suitable amount of variety and story that you are compelled to play through the levels and exterminate all these massive bats.

Bat Country can be played online on Greg Segeant’s site.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – ‘Bat Country’ Giant Mutant Bats Can Put A Damper On Your Day


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Editor’s Notebook: Control The Moon In ‘Lune’

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Earlier in the week, six students working on a game for the National Graduate School of Games and Interactive Media (known as ENJMIN, Ecole Nationale du Jeu et des Medias Interactifs Numériques) released a trailer for their game, Lune. The game has quite an interesting hook: instead of playing as the protagonist, players control the moon, to help the protagonist through the levels.

In an idea that seems straight out of the faux-Peter Molyneux Twitter account, @PeterMolydeux, Lune will have players controlling the moon, rather than the protagonist, to manipulate gravity, the tides, and shadows to assist the main character through the game. Yesterday, I chatted with Lune’s game designer and scripter, Sergey Mohov. He explained to me that apart from considering the Moon a character itself, Lune really focuses around just one character: a masked girl.

“She’s a young woman in a mask,” Sergey said, “and you don’t really know much about her apart from the fact that she has the power of the Moon…she’s no different from you and me. She doesn’t jump especially high, she’s not particularly strong or fast, she doesn’t do any magic tricks, doesn’t have a mana bar above her head. All in all, she’s quite normal.”

“Except she controls the Moon.”

Lune takes place on an island full of mysteries, and terror. A lone tower dominates the landscape, and Sergey told me that the masked girl isn’t the only inhabitant of the island: giant rock guardians roam the island, protecting its secrets for unknown reasons. “[The guardians] can smash our character’s head with one blow, but they can’t see in the dark. So what you do is you manipulate tides, gravity, and light to hide from the guardians, avoid dangers, and remove obstacles.”

Sergey is part of the six person team working on Lune. The rest of the team includes Fabian Bodet (art/modeling), Matthieu Bonneau (sound design), Leonard Carpentier (project management), Raphael Chappuis (gameplay programming), and Alexis Payen de la Garanderie (graphics programing). Previously, Sergey has worked with Fabian and Matthieu on both Paradis Perdus and Spotlight for Game à Niaque and Indie Speed Run competitions, respectively. The trio, along with Leonard, Raphael, and Alexis, are now working hard to get Lune ready for the Hits Playtime competition, this June.

The Hits Playtime competition is for French game design students, and only the ten games with the most Facebook “likes” will be entered into judging for the grand prize.

“We’re a bit under pressure because of Hits Playtime…forced to fight for every like on Facebook, really annoying…hence the trailer,” Sergey said.

Luckily for the team, the trailer is not only completed and they can go back to focusing on developing the game, but the trailer generated a solid amount of publicity for Lune, giving them a better chance of succeeding in the Hits Playtime competition. However, there are thirty other student projects in the race to win, six of which are from Sergey’s own school, ENJMIN, so Sergey asks that anyone who wishes for the project’s success to visit Lune’s Facebook page, and give them a “like” as that will greatly help their chances of becoming finalists.

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I asked Sergey how the team plans to distribute Lune, upon the game’s completion, and if they plan on attaching a price-tag to the student-built game.

“Yeah, we’re planning to sell it and we hope that people will find it good enough to pay for it. It’s been more than just a student project to us from the beginning. We just happen to be lucky to study in a school that lets you keep rights to your games and encourages any kind of further development.” As far as game distribution goes, Sergey said the team plans to distribute Lune in all the typical ways: through direct to consumer methods, Steam, GOG, and any other option that makes itself available. But nothing is certain, yet.

While talking to Sergey, I learned that he already has a Bachelor’s degree in Automation and Computer Science, and turned down a job at Crytek, choosing instead to pursue a Master’s degree at ENJMIN.

“AAA [game development] is not really my thing. Thankfully, I have met some wonderfully talented people at ENJMIN, and I think that there’s a good chance that we will do something together when school is over,” Sergey said.

That “something” could be a more extensive version of what they’re currently planning for Lune, but that all depends on the game’s success with the Hits Playtime competition.

To help Sergey and the rest of the Lune development team, just visit Lune’s Facebook page, and “Like” it. The page happens to be the best place to keep up with the latest information about Lune, too.

If Twitter is more your cup of tea, then follow Lune on Twitter.

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Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Editor’s Notebook: Control The Moon In ‘Lune’


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‘Evoland’ Evolves From Game Jam To Full Release

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For anyone who has followed the Ludum Dare contests over the past few months you may have seen one game by a small developed team known as Shiro Games who created Evoland.

Evoland won the Ludum Dare 24 contest for its highly innovative take on RPG history. In Evoland you play starting with a monochrome top-down view which was seen in the early Zelda games. This then gradually progresses through the ages right up to the 3D rendered worlds we all know and love today.

Evoland quite obviously has had a great deal of influence from classic RPG titles like Zelda and Final Fantasy but it’s able to combine them here in a rather unique and fun way not seen before in RPGs.

Evoland really is quite the trip down memory lane, bringing back many of the awesome features we have seen in the past, while making for a completely unique game that really does stand up on its own.

After doing so well in Ludum Dare the team decided to flesh out the game even more and even managed to get it Greenlit earlier this year. Now, several months later, Shiro Games have finally released Evoland on the PC via Steam.

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Evoland has evolved from the critically acclaimed mini-game created for Ludum Dare into a full-fledged title now available to buy via Steam.

Evoland was released yesterday on Steam and is currently on sale, allowing you to save 10% until the 10th of April.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Evoland’ Evolves From Game Jam To Full Release


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IGF: Samurai Gunn Swords + Guns = a Bloody Good Time

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Local competitive multiplayer is back!  Samurai Gunn, developed by Beau Blythe, was nominated for Excellence in Design at this year’s Independent Games Festival and while it did not win, the game is still a blast to play.  Samurai Gunn is a 2-4 player local multiplayer game.  Each player is equipped with a sword and a gun, though the gun only has 3 shots per life.  First player to rack up 10 kills wins the match.  One hit kills, but both sword and bullet attacks can be reflected with skill and timing.

Samurai Gunn is incredibly easy to pick up and play, but hard to master.  Levels wrap around vertically and horizontally so it’s important to keep an eye on your character and keep moving.  After losing my first few matches, I learned how to utilize the directional buttons for downward gunshots and devastating sword uppercuts.  There’s also the cunning tactic of hiding among the dead bodies that pile up throughout the level.  With the game’s stylish anime inspired death highlights and fast paced action, I found myself yearning for more maps to battle on.  I found it very hard to put down my NES controller (nice touch BTW) and move onto the other games.

All the games in the IGF have been approved for Steam, so I hope to see Samurai Gunn released at some point with a lot more content.  It would be great to have online multiplayer and some form of single player tournament or practice mode in a final release.  Check out Beau Blythe’s website for more information and updates on Samurai Gunn.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – IGF: Samurai Gunn Swords + Guns = a Bloody Good Time


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‘Polarium’ A Brand New Abstract Puzzler That Has You Play With Cubes

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Puzzlers and indie games have been one in the same for quite some time now as the puzzle genre allows for great creativity and innovation on very reasonable budgets. Narrow Monolith, a small indie studio from the UK has taken a leap of faith into the puzzle genre with Polarium an abstract minimalistic puzzler.

Polarium combines some rather intense and rapid gameplay mechanics with many of the classic mechanics of more cerebral puzzle games and from what I have played it works well. The game sets out the basic premise rather nicely and slowly begins to build on it adding new and interesting mechanics.

The difficulty curve seems in line with most puzzlers and although the mechanics to begin with seem rather basic. With some further development Polarium can indeed become a very interesting and unique puzzler.

Although the game is still in the early stages of development there is a great deal of potential here starting with a solid framework that holds some great ideas. Polarium is still in the early stages and because of this Narrow Monolith are looking to get further investment from the public to allow them to fully realise the potential of Polarium.

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Narrow Monolith started a Kickstarter just the other day in the hope of raising £30,000 in funds to finish the project. Polarium can be played as an alpha via IndieDB which should give you a better understanding of the project and really it does speak for itself.

Be sure to check out the Kickstarter for additional information.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Polarium’ A Brand New Abstract Puzzler That Has You Play With Cubes


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Indie Intermission – ‘Archeblade’ Not Your Average Beat Em Up

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Today’s game of choice is from Codebrush Games, a small South Korean indie development team who have been working tirelessly on Archeblade, a brand new style of MOBA game.

The company manage to cross elements from beat em up titles like Street Fighter with MOBA elements found in games such as Bloodline Champions. Although initially these genres may not seem a likely pairing after you give the game a go you will see just how well they can fit together under the right circumstances.

The game is fast paced and is a great deal of fun from start to finish with a rather wide selection of characters to pick the variety here is just great. Although the current map pool is a little limited the game in its current incarnation really is a great deal of fun and if you enjoy beat em ups or MOBAs then this might just be fore you.

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Average play time – 30 minutes

Archeblade has been in development for sometime and I have followed the development quite closely so I am very happy to see Codebrush Games finally release at least an early access version of the game. Due to the game still being in development expect a lot of updates and no doubt a fair amount of changes but none the less Archeblade is a great new style of multiplayer game.

Archeblade can be downloaded Via Steam for free now, if you would like to find out more about Codebrush Games check out their site.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – ‘Archeblade’ Not Your Average Beat Em Up


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GDC: Dungeon Dashers


Dungeon Dashers is a slick and instantly enjoyable dungeon crawler. It features 4 different characters (Assassin, Knight, Ranger, Wizard) all with their own abilities which can be used for some interesting puzzle solving for each level. The controls are really simple to grasp and as the name implies, the game moves really quickly.  The game combines a lot of great things in a streamlined fashion.  There is a turn-based combat system which is barely noticeable because of the speed of the turns.  Turns actually vanish if you are not in combat so the game can feel like a puzzle game and a roguelike RPG depending on the level and circumstances.  It’s quite awesome.

Dungeon Dashers promises traps, multiple styles of play, tons of replayability, additional challenges and objectives and online multiplayer.  Honestly, the whole package sounds too good to be true.  The graphics are really nostalgic without being too chunky and pixelated.  This game is coming along great, be sure to checkout our preview in 2012 for even more impressions and information.

Dungeon Dashers is still in-development but can be purchased in it’s current state for $10 from the game’s official website. Be sure to follow the developer on twitter @JigxorAndy

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – GDC: Dungeon Dashers


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PAX East 2013: Dungeon Defenders 2 – Move over League of Legends


Move over League of Legends, Dungeon Defenders II is introducing a whole new competitive Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) that borrows a lot of elements from League of Legends but makes the game more approachable and brings in the action to a 3rd person action perspective.  At PAX East, I was able to play a 5v5 competitive match.  The new game mode featured all the trappings of League of Legends; there were 3 different paths to each base, defensive towers prevent your approach, and each hero has their own set of abilities and upgrades.  The big change is this MOBA features Dungeon Defenders bright and colorful graphics and promises to make the popular genre more approachable for casual players.

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The Competitive mode already boasts 24 heroes and the exact number for release could creep up to 30+.  Those worried about losing that Dungeon Defenders Tower Defense mechanics have nothing to worry about.  While the MOBA mode will be released first, DDII will still support and feature a fully cooperative tower defense game.  Trendy Entertainment isn’t just mimicking Riot Game’s core competitive gameplay, it’s also trying it’s hand at League of Legends Free 2 Play model.  Dungeon Defenders will be entirely Free 2 Play when it’s released.

IveGotTheKoboldThe game will launch with 1 map with more heroes and maps coming after release.  For more information on Dungeon Defenders 2, check out the game’s official website.